- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Following a decade of experience in the roofing industry as branch manager for Triple M Roofing Corporation in New York, Rob Kornahrens, now president and CEO, founded South Florida-based Advanced Roofing Inc. in 1983. The full-service commercial roofing company is one of the largest in the nation, specializing in roof replacements for occupied buildings and offering customized solar energy solutions to clients throughout North America and the Caribbean.
With experience establishing and operating new branches for Triple M Roofing Corporation in both Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale, Rob was ready to take on the challenge of operating his own business. He started Advanced Roofing with a loan of $15,000 from his father, beginning as a roofing repair business and expanding into a full-service roofing company and eventually the top commercial re-roofing contractor in Florida.
Rob leads a team of 350 employees, which includes his two sons, a daughter-in-law, two nephews and a niece. Twins Michael and Kevin, 31, lead the solar and roofing divisions, respectively.
“Kevin’s wife, Jessica, is one of our best project managers,” Rob says. “My nephew works in estimating and my nieces are project coordinators.”
Rob speculates that there may be a third generation in the business, as well, with a grandson turning two in March, leaving the business in good hands when he eventually retires to fish the Florida coast.
Seeing a trend in green building and solar energy, Rob launched Advanced Green Technologies in 2007, which specializes in turnkey solar energy solutions for commercial and industrial applications. For Rob, the solar and roofing sides of the company go hand-in-hand.
“Roofing sells solar and solar helps to sell roofing,” he says. “We are moving more and more into solar as time goes on. We’ve been recognized for the third year in a row as one of the top commercial solar contractors in North America by Solar Power World magazine and we continue to promote the energy savings and incentives available to building and business owners considering solar power.”
For the Advanced Roofing team, being a trusted resource for customers is a top priority. If a customer needs a new roof and is interested in investing in solar, Rob explains that a portion of the cost of a new roof can be incorporated into the solar price and subject to tax credits or rebates.
“A new roof is often required to install a solar energy system, one that lasts 25 years,” he details. “Our customers can get the same 30 percent federal tax credit and accelerated depreciation for more of that investment.” By being a one-stop shop for all roofing needs, customers receive more value for money spent, as well as time.
Putting the technology to work
Rob and his team have put the company’s capabilities to work on a number of unique contracts in recent years. In 2011, the team wrapped up a $12 million project for the U.S Navy that included both re-roofing and solar.
“We generally do a few jobs each year for military bases,” says Rob. “For this contract, we installed solar arrays on five different building throughout the state of Florida. Additionally, we did quite a bit of roof replacement work, using a white Energy Star reflective membrane.”
While this contract involved many of the typical aspects of a project for the Advanced Roofing team, it was unique in one aspect – its safety policies. “Working on a military base, we had to do extensive training and have more supervision than normal,” explains Rob. “Going into the project, we had one of the best safety records of any of our competitors. Even with that, we had to do more training to meet Navy policies.”
Another stand-out project for the team was a 155,000 kilowatt solar installation for JM Family Enterprise in Deerfield Beach, Florida; the project was recognized by the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Association and Solar Builder Magazine as one of the top solar installations in 2014.
“The solar array was attached to a built-up roof system that had a post tension concrete slab supporting it, so it required our team to revise all of the attachment details and utilize fastener and sleeve imbeds, specifically designed for use in post tension application,” Rob adds. “That in itself was one of the largest challenges of the project.”
Advanced Roofing is currently putting together a team dedicated to building solar parking structures, which Rob anticipates as the next area for growth in the solar arena. “We are currently contracted to build a 2.4 megawatt solar parking structure on the west coast of Florida,” he says. “This will be the largest solar parking structure in the state. We bid against five national firms and three local firms to win the contract, so this project is really huge for us.”
The Advanced Roofing team is growing steadily on its overriding commitment to customer service. Clients can count on value and quality, as well as the confidence that Advanced Roofing will continue to be a resource well after a project is completed.
“We are a relationship-based company,” says Rob proudly. “If a customer calls us for a new roof and we see that they can get another 10 years out of the old one with some new flashings, we make that recommendation. We have a lot of options for both roofing and solar to offer our customers that will satisfy their needs.”
While growth is always a priority, success isn’t measured only in dollars. “The finances are important, but we want to make sure we are delivering tremendous quality and customer service,” says Rob. “We also want to contribute to the improvement and development of the solar industry through new technology; 2015 will be a great year for solar. Systems have become more affordable and the Federal tax credit is available through the end of 2016.”
Rob plans to continue building strong relationships into 2015 and beyond. With a solid executive team in place, he foresees growth over the next few years to maintain a positive trend. “Our goal is to keep good people coming up through the ranks,” he says. “We have a great organization, and I definitely see the company getting bigger as times moves forward.”
According to Rob, the company’s strong team and steady handle on growth will ensure that Advanced Roofing Inc. continues to be a trendsetter in building commercial roofs and solar energy systems throughout Florida and beyond.
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